And by girls I don’t mean the wifey and the kiddo, my usual weekend dates. For a change, the past weekend was spent with girl friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in years — a funny thing since we live in the same city and basically go to the same coffee shops, supermarkets and payment centers.
Saturday, rainy as fuck, I was at Eastwood for the long overdue meetup with friends I met through the now defunct Multiply. Adelaide-based T___ was in town and wanted to hook up before she flies back home. Four of us made it, plus partners. Coffee at Starbucks to beat the cold and then lunch at Italianni’s. Jokes and stories galore — and the wildest first-person account I’ve heard about vibrators courtesy of M__. It was a whole afternoon of fun and warm camaraderie that we all hoped would be replicated soon.
Then the next day, Sunday, was my alma matter’s homecoming. There was a parade in the morning that I failed to join because of house chores and also the rain. Then a program in the afternoon at Ynares Center. Speeches and dance presentations by batches. Also a raffle. It was nice seeing my old class/batch-mates again. “Man, it’s been over 20 years” and all that. Program over, I joined our batch’s all-girl dance group to Calleza Bar and Grill for drinks. Stayed there longer than I had intended. Guess I got carried away by the vibe.
Indeed, fun weekend.
Playlist: Volbeat – Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil; Danzig – Danzig
Thanks to social media, Valentine’s has become more commercial that it used to be. Whether that’s bad or good depends on one’s love life status, I guess, but I’ve never seen so many roses and teddy bears and red heart-shaped whatnot waved to my face as was yesterday on my way to work. Even LRT-2 had some kind of Valentine’s gimmick going on. And don’t get me started on Facebook posts. They almost made me diabetic.
Anyway, it was almost midnight when the wifey and I got to celebrate V-Day, no thanks to heavy traffic. It was a simple celebration: no resto, no movie, not even a coffee shop rendezvous. Just the two of us at home, with Carlo Rossi and a bag of Tostitos — our version of Ethan Hawke’s famous 90s movie line “You, me and five bucks.” Why spend more?
Meanwhile, my life continues to revolve around family, comics, movies, music and TV series. On fine weekend mornings I bike, and once again I’m trying to quit smoking. The other day I tried drawing again. When I can, I sleep early and wake up late. In short, life’s sweet for the meantime.
Playlist: Van Halen – Balance; Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Listened to new music again yesterday. New albums by Grandaddy, Elbow and Cloud Nothings. It’s been awhile. The last new album I listened to was Metallica’s Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, and that was in early January. Since then it’s all been throwback music, mostly from the 90s, my decade, a long ago and sorely missed period of my life.
For the last couple of weeks, my life seemed to have hit a snag. Static. Unexciting. Plain, boring, dead. Even the comics and books and magazines I read were old shit. Ditto the series I watched (Jessica Jones, from 2015). It was as if my psyche has lost its interest on new things and, hence, the future. I heard friends yak about the stuff that’s making them excited for 2017 — from new Stranger Things season in November to Megadeth on Pulp Summer Slam in April — but the feeling won’t rub on me. I sat there hearing them but at the same time having an out-of-body experience.
“Absence/lack of excitement. Tell-tale sign of depression.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell me about it.
And Wednesday last week I exploded into rage. Long story — I could write it but won’t. Too ugly. Too painful. And what’s the point?
But yesterday I listened to new music again. And I’m looking forward to watching John Wick 2 this weekend, and curious about the upcoming sitcom Powerless, and seriously considering catching Megadeth for the second time in these shores. All this I take as a sign that I’m finally moving forward now.
Playlist: Hardline – Double Eclipse
So last weekend me and the girls finally got to check out Pinto Arts Museum, one of Antipolo City’s newest tourist attractions. Emphasis on “finally”: when friends from as far as Singapore and Dubai have been to Pinto and yet we, who live just a few kilometers away, have not, something is amiss. We decided to rectify that last Sunday.
First impression of the place: it’s effin’ huge, man. I was expecting one building housing all the arts and artifacts and stuff, but apparently there’s more. Aside from the actual museum, there were also galleries, gardens, a meditation area (under renovation during our visit), chapel, a cafè and a theater. A newbie could easily get lost in the maze. Thankfully, a map is provided at the entrance. It was helpful, especially if you’re looking for the nearest CR.
Anyway, will not go into details. Blogs about Pinto Arts Museum are dime-a-dozen. I’ll just say that if you dig arts, and old things, and culture — or you just fancy watching young pretty out-of-towners snap photos of themselves — you’ll be at home in this place.
Playlist: Asphyx – Last One on Earth; Terra Nova – Come Alive
Friday. Midnight. Somewhere in Makati. A bit tipsy in the company of new friends — all hip, all well dressed, all smart-trendy in their own way.
Actually, I was only there to pick up my wife.
My wife. She said for this year she wants to level up on her social skills. Go out, meet new people, enjoy new things. Well, why not?
So Friday night after work she said she’s going out with friends and asked me if I could pick her up. I told her to meet me at McDonald’s along Paseo de Roxas, our usual meeting place, at 11 p.m. I pictured myself having a quiet time reading comics and nursing a cappuccino while waiting for her. I liked the picture. I like tranquility.
But then she said she’s having too much fun to split at 11 so would I consider joining them instead since her friends were interested to meet me anyway.
She gave their whereabouts: Discovery Primea.
A fucking hotel? Talk about level up.
So I went, and there they were, some gals and some dudes, swigging wine and beer and munching home-cooked steak — wow! — all griping about the hotel’s no smoking policy. Loose conversation here and there: about vaping, the BPO industry, Bato dela Rosa. Ice-cold Red Horse hissed when I popped open the tab. How cool, I thought, being here and all.
Ah, this leveling up business. Bring it on!
Playlist: Soul Asylum – Let Your Dim Light Shine
One thing I like about 2016 is that Hardwired… to Self-Destruct happened. It’s Metallica saying fuck you to naysayers, in a time when all but the most loyal of fans have given up on them for churning out mediocre metal. Horns up for my sister-in-law, in town from Singapore, for this awesome pasalubong slash birthday gift.
Speaking of my birthday: I may have inadvertently given the impression that my special day sucked with my bitter-sounding previous entry. I will set the record straight now and say that it didn’t. It may not be perfect, but it was neither a disaster. And truth be known, I preferred a quiet celebration than a big party which would only leave me with a big hangover the next day. At 38, I no longer treat hangover as some sort of a badge rightfully earned for surviving a night of merry drunken mayhem. Now, it’s just a bummer.
Meanwhile, long time no blog. Was busy with house and work shit, and was therefore often too exhausted to write. It happens, and it sucks when it does, and these cold mornings we’re having aren’t really helping kick slumbering brain cells into action.
Playlist: Buffalo Tom – Skins; Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
Couple of minutes before midnight on a Friday. Just got home. Writing this as I wait for the coffee to cool down. Ditto my mood.
Turned 38 yesterday. There was no party. No drunk girls dancing to loud music blaring from the speakers. All the debauchery happened in my head, and the only food involved were the ones ordered for the “feeding program” that me and two other January celebrants sponsored at the office the previous day. Pancit (for long life), lumpiang shanghai, cake, pork barbecue. Soft drinks, but no beer.
On my 38th name day I woke up, had breakfast, took a dump, showered, got dressed, went to work, did what I’m paid to do for nine hours, said thank you to well wishers online and in person, punched out, went home, brooded, slept. In short, it was not unlike any other ordinary work day.
Today, I punched out early at work to meet the wifey in Makati. But she came a bit sloshed from drinking with an office-mate and at one point was even kind of belligerent. Would’ve loved to walk around Glorietta and Greenbelt and savor the night until our feet ached, but that’d be no fun in her condition. Instead we dined at Yoshinoya and went home.
Happy birthday to me.
I thought I was handling it pretty well. Then I realized I wasn’t. Fucking post-holiday blues, man.
It happened in Cubao on my way to work (still a holiday today, but no such thing in my gig). I saw the stalls that were selling Christmas decors (before Christmas) and fireworks (New Year) being dismantled and torn down. That drove home the fact to me that the holidays are over, and that it’s now back to the tired old boring-ass routine of the daily grind. What’s sadder is the fact that when I get home tonight, the wifey will no longer be there waiting for me, as she has to sleep early for her work tomorrow. I will miss those late-night chats over tea or coffee we had over the past few days. That’s actually my memory of Christmastime 2016. I am sentimental like that.
At work now. The air is syrupy quiet. Fighting to let the wretched post-holiday fact sink in… and not doing a pretty good job about it. Just smoked two cigarettes despite New Year resolution to drop the damn habit. Oh well…
Playlist: Blue Oyster Cult – Club Ninja; Bad Brains – I Against I
So today the world woke up to news that Carrie Fisher of Princess Leia fame is dead. She died days after suffering from heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Once again the guys and gals on Facebook are chirping about how awful 2016 is, considering the number of noted celebrities who perished this year (George Michael died on Christmas). Well, perhaps so. But on a personal note — and the wifey agrees to this so it’s not just me — 2016 is probably one of the fastest years in recent memory. And that’s good in my book.
Sucks to be at work when my close friends are either on vacation or on leave.
Playlist: Gin Blossoms – Outside Looking In: The Best of Gin Blossoms; Trashcan Sinatras – In the Music; Motorhead – Bastards; Neurotic Outsiders –Neurotic Outsiders
Happiness is a bunch of books rescued from bookstore bargain bins.
Yes, indeed, why not? The storm’s over, the sun’s shining, and like everyone else with a stable job, I got some extra cash to burn this Christmas. And since I’m not a smart, fastidious dresser nor an obsessive gadget freak, the money will definitely go to toys, graphic novels and books. Now, when I go to bookstores, I usually check the bargain bins. Needless to say, the past few trips have been fruitful, as evidenced by the photo.
My New Year’s resolution, if you may: In 2017, I intend to read more. Magazines, books, comics, whatnot. This means there’ll be less movies and TV series next year. Will not give myself a quota, though. Will just read ’em one at a time, and then see how it goes.
Playlist: Dream Theater – Images and Words; Dog Fashion Disco – Anarchists of Good Taste; Killing Joke – Pylon